Lisa S. Parker, PhD

  • Professor and Director, Center for Bioethics & Health Law

Lisa Parker, a philosopher, is Professor of Human Genetics in the Graduate School of Public Health. She directs the University’s interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Bioethics program in The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and is director of the Area of Concentration in Humanities, Ethics, and Palliative Care in the School of Medicine. She is also a member of the Steering Committee in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and a fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science. Dr. Parker has published extensively on ethical concerns related to the design and conduct of research, particularly genetic research and mental health research, as well as on aesthetic surgery, confidentiality, and informed consent. With a national working group of the Association of Schools of Public Health, Dr. Parker edited Ethics and Public Health: Model Curriculum (Association of Schools of Public Health, 2003). She is co-author of the second edition of Informed Consent: Legal Theory and Clinical Practice (Oxford, 2001) and is co-editor of Mutating Concepts, Evolving Disciplines: Genetics, Medicine, and Society in the Philosophy and Medicine Series published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 2002.

Dr. Parker’s recent research has focused on the ethical management of incidental findings and return of research results, privacy protection, pharmacogenomic research and genetic enhancement. She has sustained interest in employing feminist approaches to bioethical issues and in the critical analysis of bioethics as a social practice and field of inquiry. She is a co-investigator for an international research ethics training program focused on China and sponsored by the Fogarty International Center of the NIH and has previously provided research ethics training in Kolkata and New Delhi, India through two other Fogarty-sponsored training programs. Since 2015, she has chaired the Genomics and Society Working Group of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research for the NHGRI, where she has served on the study section of the ELSI Program (the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Program) and on two national working groups examining the management of incidental findings and research results, as well as on the Expert Scientific Panel of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network.

Dr. Parker collaborates with investigators across the University, as well as nationally and internationally,  on both empirical studies and theoretical and policy analyses. With Carnegie Mellon colleagues, she offered guidance regarding discovery and management of incidental findings in the use of DNA to identify human remains following natural disasters and armed conflict. With colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Parker was involved in a community-based project to investigate the care of elderly living with depression and other severe mood disorders. She serves as a co-investigator and ethics consultant on studies involving biobanking and whole exome/genome sequencing in different patient populations. With colleagues in India, she is investigating differing conceptions of privacy and analyzing the appropriateness of privacy protection requirements utilized in the US and by the NIH when applied in Indian research and patient care contexts.

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